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February 15, 2013 - Exam 2: Chapters 12–15Chapter 12: Torts and Cyber TortsThe Basis of Tort Lawo Notions that serve as the basis of all torts: Wrongs and compensation Designed to compensate those who have suffered a loss of injury due to another person’s wrongful act- The Purpose of Tort Lawo Tort: Civil injuryo Provide remedies for the invasion of various protected interestso Ex: Personal physical safety, property, intangible interests- Damages Available in Tort Actionso Compensatory Damages: Intended to compensate or reimburse a plaintiff for actual losses “Make plaintiff whole”; where they would be if the tort had not occurred Special damages: Compensate for quantifiable monetary losses General damages: Compensate individuals (not companies) for the nonmonetary aspects of the harm suffered, such as pain, reputation, and suffering- How to measure?o Punitive Damages: Punish wrongdoer and deter others from similar wrong doing Appropriate only when defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or reprehensible Gross negligence: Intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences of such a failure for the life or property of another- Tort Reformo Torts encourage trivial and unfounded lawsuits – clog courts and costlyo Damages are often excessive and not relatedo Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (2005): Shifted jurisdiction of large interstate tort and product liability class-action lawsuits from state to federalcourts Purpose: To prevent attorneys from “forum shopping”: Looking for states known to be sympatheticIntentional Torts Against Persons- Intentional tort: Requires intent (intended that the consequences of the act with substantial certainty that certain consequences would result from the act)o Tortfeasor: The one committing the torto Tortfeasor must intend to commit an act, the consequences of which interfere with the personal or business interests of another in a way not permitted by lawo Law assumes that individuals intend normal consequences of their actions If you shove someone (kidding or not), you should expect them to get hurt- Assault and Batteryo Assault: Intentional and unexcused threat of immediate harmful or offensive contact, including words that imply that physical harm will be caused Placing you in the fear and making it possibleo Battery: Unexcused and harmful or offensive physical contact intentionally performed Completing the assault Offensive contact: May be entitled to compensation- Reasonable person standardo Can have one or the othero Defenses to Assault and Battery Consent Self-defense (reasonable force) Defense of others (reasonable force)- Need to make sure that they want your defenseo Ex: Bar argument between a couple Defense of Property- TX: Someone is in your house, you can shoot them- Spring guns: Goes beyond what is necessary-- False Imprisonment: Intentional confinement or restraint of another person’s activities without jurisdictiono Holding someone against their willo Moral pressure does not counto Class? o Merchants may reasonably detain customers if there is a probable cause- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: Intentional act that amounts to extreme and outrageous conduct resulting in severe emotional distress to anothero Actionable: Capable of serving as the ground for a lawsuit Must exceed the bounds of decency accepted by societyo Ex: Expecting a child to be dead, and it was really just a surprise- Defamation: Wrongfully hurting a person’s good reputationo Slander: Oral Special damages- Exception: Slander Per Seo No proof, no way to undo statemento Libel: Writing or other permanent form Published statement must be a fact General damages are presumedo Publication requirement Publication of a false statement Contempt ridicule, or hatred Directed to a third-party- Even if they only overhear the statemento Also when regarding person’s product, business, or legal ownership rights to propertyo Statement of Fact vs. Statement of Opinion First Amendment rightso Defenses to Defamation Truth Privileged (Immune) Speech- Absolute (Judicial and legislative proceedings)- Qualified (Employee evaluations) Public Figures: Public officials who exercise substantial governmental power and any persons in the public limelight- Statements must be made with actual malice (knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth)o Damages for Libel General: Nonspecific harms (disgrace or dishonor)o Damages for Slander Plaintiff must prove special damages to establish defendant’s liability Economic or monetary losses “Slander per se”: No proof of special damages is required for it to be actionable- 1- Particular type of disease (leprosy, STDs, mental)- 2- Improprieties in a profession or trade- 3- Committed of imprisoned for a serious crime- 4- Unchaste, sexual misconduct- Invasion of Privacyo Fundamental right to solitude freedom from public scrutinyo To sue for invasion – Must be highly offensive 1- Appropriation of identity 2- Intrusion into an individual’s affairs or seclusion 3- False light 4- Public disclosure of private facts - Appropriation: Use of another person’s name, likeness, or other identifying characteristic, without permission and for the benefit of the usero Degree of Likenesso Right of Publicity as a Property Right- Fraudulent Misrepresentation: Accidental misrepresentation because not aware of the factso Intentional deceit for personal gaino 1- Misrepresentation of material facts or conditions with knowledge that they are false or with reckless disregard for the trutho 2- Intent to induce another party to rely on the misrepresentation o 3- Justifiable reliance on misrepresentation by the deceived partyo 4- Damages suffered as a result of that relianceo 5- Casual connection between misrepresentation and injury sufferedo More than mere puffery (seller’s talk) must be involvedo Reliance on a statement of fact- Abusive or Frivolous Litigationo Malicious prosecution: Lawsuit initiated out of malice and without probable cause and lost the suit, they can be suedo Abuse of process: Any person using a legal process against another in an improper manner or to accomplish a purpose for which the process was not designedBusiness Torts: Apply only to wrongful interferences with the business rights of others- Wrongful Interference with a Contractual Relationshipo 1-


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NU ACCT 3304 - Exam 2: Chapters 12–15

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